ARMEN DANILIAN/BEHIND THE CURTAIN
814 BROADWAY/APRIL 14, 2008/5:00PM-9:00PM
Opening in conjunction with the launch of the Kirov Balletís Spring 2008 season is Behind the Curtain, the debut
exhibition of twenty-two year old, Russian-born, New-York-based photographer Armen Danilian. The show, which
runs for just one day in the midst of the festivities, kicks off with a reception to be attended by members of the world
renown company on Monday, April 14 from 5:00pm to 9:00pm at 814 Broadway, with future dates forthcoming.
The exhibition will consist of more than two dozen photographs documenting nearly a decade of dance from the
singular vantage point of the young artist. Accompanying this event is an exclusive catalogue that compiles his most
poignant images of the Kirov Ballet.
The works on view in Armenís first solo exhibition reflect six years of dedicated effort shooting Russiaís biggest
ballet companies on tour in the United States. It can be said, in fact, that the show represents a lifetime of immersion
for the globe-trekking, Armenian-American Abraham Lincoln High School graduate and New York University
dropout. Armen has toured extensively with the Kirov Ballet, Opera and Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theater, along
with the Bolshoi Ballet and the Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg, as the unofficial photographer and tour manager of
Ardani Artists Management, Inc. His involvement in the technical facets of ballet production has allowed him to
forge personal relationships with art formís major players while retaining the independent perspective of an observer.
Armen's unique position takes himóliterallyóbehind the curtain, granting him unprecedented access to the inner
sanctum of an industry known for its outward pomp and refinement. He is concerned with the interaction of the
ballet dancers, both physical and psychological, as well as the spaces they inhabit beyond the stageódressing rooms,
ateliers, hotel suites and corridors. Rarely does an artist, let alone one this young, so deftly navigate uncharted
territory, but Armenís dual status as insider and spectator compels him to break all expectations in a subgenre that is
too often characterized by cliché. Although grandeur proves inevitable, no aspect is deemed too quotidian for the
Like the ballet itself, the images are at once cerebral and emotiveóthe successful hybrid of planning and
spontaneous action. Armenís forte is moments, and moments within moments abound, to say the least. Not one to
shy from irony, or even, the absurd, he captures split-second expressions of emotional conflict and cultural
dissonance, but also, the inherent beauty of his human subjects, whether they be dancers, executives, audience
members or stagehands. The images straddle public and private, East and West, the lofty and the mundane.
Armen is the recipient of numerous industry honors, including the prestigious Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, and
his work has been featured in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and New York Magazine. He has
previously exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum of Art and in multiple traveling group shows. Examples from his
oeuvre can be seen on the popular online gallery tinyvices.com.
Russian dance photo exhibit
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